The South African Pharmacy Council (Council), in 2018, developed a new format for the pre-registration examination which is in line with the new competency standards. Council also resolved that, in 2019, the pre-registration examination be conducted three times, i.e. in March, July and October as indicated in the schedule below. The March 2019 examination will be of the same format as the 2018 and prior examinations which were based on the old competency standards and consisted of two papers – Paper 1 was based on calculations while Paper 2 was a sector-specific examination. The new examination format consists of one paper written over four (4) hours and will be implemented from the July 2019 examination onwards. You may download the sample 2019 Practice Pre-Registration Exam Paper by clicking here. Once you have attempted to answer the sample questions download the Answers to the Sample Questions here to assess yourself.

The blueprint for the new format examination is available in the 2019 Intern and Tutor Manual. Click here to download the 2019 Intern and Tutor Manual.

Council will conduct workshops in May/June 2019 to introduce the new examination format to interns and their tutors. The practice examination paper in the new format will be made available on the secure site of the Council website to assist interns with preparing for the examination.

Pharmacist Interns attempting the pre-registration examination for the first time will only be allowed to sit for the examination after completing the first six months of their internship and submitting at least six continuing professional development (CPD) entries online and three progress reports submitted by their tutor (i.e. the 12 weeks personal and professional development report, 24 weeks personal and professional development report and the sectoral experience checklist). Interns registered for nine (9) months or more must submit eight (8) CPD entries and their tutor must submit four progress reports (i.e. the 12 weeks personal and professional development report, the 24 weeks personal and professional development report and sectoral experience checklist, and the 36 weeks personal and professional development report) to be eligible to write the examination.

The examinations will be conducted at various centres in specified provinces and these will be communicated to interns before the examination is open for booking. Interns are required to book online on the secure site to write the examination. On booking, interns are required to select the venue where they will be writing the examination. The examination booking must be completed at least four weeks prior to the examination date. A late booking fee determined by Council will be charged for bookings submitted less than four weeks and up to 14 days before the examination date. Bookings submitted less than 14 days before the examination date will not be accepted.

No fee will be charged for the first and second attempt at the examination. Interns will, however, be charged a fee for a third and any subsequent attempts at the examination.

The fees are published by Council each year and are available on the Council website.

A pharmacist intern may attempt an examination on any of the scheduled dates. If the intern fails the examination, he/she may rewrite it on the next available examination date.


The presentations delivered at the 2019 Pre-registration Examination Workshops are available for download below:

2019 Pre-registration Exam_Introduction and Requirements

2019 Pre-registration Exam_Format and Sample Questions

Pre-registration examination dates* are:

  • 02 March 2019 (old format)
  • 20 July 2019 (new format)
  • 23 October 2019 (new format)


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